US Intensifies Pressure, Expands Sanctions on European Contractors of Nord Stream 2

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States authorities have intensified pressure on European contractors of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline recently, threatening with “far-reaching” consequences if they continue cooperating with the project, the German Die Welt paper wrote on Saturday with reference to sources.

The United States authorities have started holding bilateral talks via videoconference with representatives of contractor firms of Nord Stream 2 from Germany and other European countries, according to the publication. All in all, 12 officials from three ministries, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Energy, participated from the US side.

The sources of the newspaper noted that the United States representatives “signaled that they want to prevent completion of the gas pipeline construction”. Meanwhile, the sources referred to Washington’s threats as “very serious”.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives of the United States Congress adopted the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year (starts on October 1), which obliges the administration to toughen sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipeline projects.

The adopted National Defense Authorization Act implies imposing restrictions against foreign persons, who “greatly contribute to the sale, lease, or provision of vessels for laying pipes” intended for the construction of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines.

The Nord Stream 2 project contemplates the construction of two gas pipeline strings with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 93% complete to date. The construction was suspended at the end of 2019 when the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped work due to US sanctions.

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